We homeschool and I have a kindergartener. We keep a calendar that she updates most everyday. When we started the February calendar she informed me that I had forgotten to change the season. Clearly, she thought, this couldn’t be winter.
Years ago, my husband and I lived in Hawaii. I couldn’t stand October. I really missed the autumn weather. February I loved. Everyone on the mainland had enough of winter by that time and it was terrific fun to call people and let them know about our most recent surfing adventures.
Living in Eldoret, Kenya has reminded me a little bit of those times. No beach, no bikinis, no surfboards, but the weather is great.
Eldoret, Kenya is a mere 36 miles north of the equator. We have an average of twelve hours of daylight and twelve hours of night skies everyday of the year. The high temperatures range from 70 to 79 degrees Fahrenheit everyday of the year. The low temperatures range from 48 to 50 degrees Fahrenheit everyday of the year. I had a Kenyan marvel recently as I described to him the warm (well, sometimes downright hot, south-eastern summer nights). He thought that it sounded awful. “Here,” he told me, “the heat leaves with the sun.” It’s true. We need a light jacket most every evening and mornings can be downright nippy.
The game changer for these parts is the rain. April to August is the rainy season and there is an average of 6 inches of rain each month. The other seven months of the year average about 2 inches of rain. As I write that I wonder what it will sound like. I can only say that I don’t refer to the seasons as dry and rainy but rather as dusty and muddy. The dust floats through the windows of your home and covers every surface that it touches. The mud is tracked into your home and sticks on your boots well up past your ankles.
So just now as the local farmers are preparing their fields for planting and awaiting the rains, the impending seasonal shift is being heralded by the winds. The winds blow and howl day and night. A few days ago we had sustained winds of 20 miles an hour all day and gusts at upwards of 30 miles an hour. The winds at night rattle and shake our windows.
So we missed one of the coldest winters on record back in the United States. I’m fine with that. My kids are a bit bummed. They thought that it all sounded like a grand adventure. I reminded them of all the swimming that they have done in the past few months and that helped change their attitudes a bit. Happy first day of spring to all of you in the northern hemisphere. I hope that you warm up soon.